Handmade cheese has a flavor unlike any store bought, not simply because of the small batch and uniqueness of the process. It is as much because it was made with the warmth of hand, and possibly your own, rather than the cold steel kiss of industrial factories.
Labneh is a strained yogurt cheese popular in the middle eastern cuisines and used as a way to preserve dairy. It has the richness of cream cheese with the distinct sour tang of yogurt. Often, it is rolled into balls and preserved in olive oil with garlic and herbs. It lends flavor to the cheese and the oil can be used as well once the cheese is all used up. It can also be whipped into savory spreads, minced with herbs and spices.
Rosemary Labneh Balls in Oil and Spiced Labneh Spreads
1 pint thick yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil or more as needed
1 sprig of rosemary
Line a colander with several layers of cheese cloth.
Whisk salt into the yogurt and pour into the cheese cloth and leave it to strain atleast 8 hours. Scrape the strained contents into a bowl. This is the labneh.
Roll half the cheese into balls and drop them into a sterilized jar. Reserve rest for spiced spreads below.
Place rosemary sprig into the jar amidst the balls.
Pour the olive oil into the jar to cover the balls. You can store for a couple of weeks.